All the attention and talk about the Chicago White Sox blow up doll in the club house is starting to get obnoxious. Despite the views of some people that this proves the entire White Sox organization is sexist, this was merely a harmless display set up by the players to counteract a recent hitting slump.
That's it. Period.
The Chicago Sun Times had several stories regarding this blow up (pun intended)...
The gimmick, called a slump buster, apparently was put together to help the White Sox snap out of a recent losing streak. On Saturday, Sox players shaved the head of one of Guillen's coaches, another uneffective trick.
"This was in the same spirit," Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said. "In terms of taste I think people would find it tasteless. They were just trying to get the bats going."
Reifert said players have "burned bats, kissed bats, slept with their bats, blessed their bats, you name it."
On Sunday, the bats were circled around the two naked female dolls, one of whom had a bat inserted in its backside to prop it up. Each wore a sign over her breasts, one saying "Let's Go White Sox" and the other reading "You've Got to Push," the National Post in Toronto reported.
I seriously doubt that the players in the White Sox club house thought to themselves, "Ya know what, I think women are second class citizens, so let's set up a blow up doll shrine to denigrate women while telling people it's to stop our hitting slump."
I truly feel the (over)reaction and uproar to this issue has been unnecessary. And I wouldn't be surprised if things like this happened in other club houses across Major League Baseball. I realize that the "boys being boys" defense isn't going to fly here (and the White Sox aren't defending the incident as such). At the same time, however, I think the White Sox are entitled to do whatever they want in their own club house.
This wasn't on the field or in the dugout. Many media members in radio, TV and print have called this despicable, sexist, etc, etc because they as media have to go into the club house to do their jobs. Get over it. It was a few bats around two blow up dolls. One bat was being used to prop up a doll.
Why is this a big deal?
The hang up is over the fact that women work in the media, and if women are in the club house, then this sort of display is offensive and should not be tolerated.
Okay, let's roll with that thought for just a second...
Sure, this might make someone feel uncomfortable. Then again, foul or abusive language might make someone feel just as uncomfortable. Should athletes be restricted from using foul language? NASCAR fined Little E and docked him points in the cup standings for cursing in 2004. That happened over a live TV broadcast. This blow up doll "shrine" existed in the privacy of the Sox club house.
Or how about this. In many club houses or locker rooms, teams will play music before or after games. What if some of the songs being played have contain a racial slur and someone of a slurred race is working as a media member in the locker room to cover the team? Should that reporter consider this an indictment of an entire organization or - more rationally - the simply musical likings of a few individuals.
In the Sox's case, this appears to be a simple prank-like set up to ease tension in the locker room amidst a hitting slump rather than an organizational backlash against women.
One Sun Times columnist is even go so far as to condemn White Sox GM Ken Williams, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and MLB commish Bud Selig. You've got to be kidding. How can this be an indictment of all of major league baseball? I realize I said I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of thing happened in other club houses (and I wouldn't be), but how does this columnist go off on baseball in general while in the same column saying that she wouldn't see something like this happening in the Yankees club house or the Red Sox club house because they have some magical mystical leadership.
For anyone offended, the White Sox front office apologized for the blow up doll display. Manager Ozzie Guillen did not. Frankly, I'm glad he didn't.
"I'm not going to say I'm sorry. I don't know what to say. I can't come up with the words, because as soon as I say that, that means I'm guilty of something. I'm not. I'm not guilty. ... We just had a plastic thing sitting on a table and, wow, we're bad people," he said.
No, you aren't bad people - at least not for this. Ozzie Guillen has had his moments for which he's needed to be apologetic (calling Jay Mariotti a "british cigarette"), but this isn't one of them.